I have to admit that I never gave Missouri a second thought. It was just a state that existed somewhere in the middle of the country, a state that I flew over every month. What a surprise it has been! Every hill unrolls more beauty than the last hill.
Today I rode from Everton to Marshfield MO over the most tree-applauding, rolling hills that I have ever experienced. Up and down, up and down, up and down for 54 miles under perfectly blue sky, hot blazing sun, and revitalizing winds on the downhill. There were so many hills today that my total elevation was about the same as the total elevation the day I climbed the Continental Divide! All told, I climbed 4,600 feet up and enjoyed 4,200 feet down.
In the midst of it all, I managed to interview some fabulous people today.
Met Julia as I was purchasing ice cold water at the Shamrock gas station today. She was laughing it up with every customer. And after each transaction, she would laugh and yell, “Next!” I said, “You seem to enjoy your job. What do you love about it?” She beamed from ear to ear, “I love giving customers s@#*&!” I will put a different spin on it for Julia. She loves bringing her personality to work every day.
Met Lisa as she was stocking shelves and helping customers today at the supermarket in Fair Grove. She loves the grocery business and has been in it since she was 10. What she loves about her job is that every customer comes in with a story and a way that she can help them. I asked Lisa how her boss influences her success and Lisa said that her manager Christen (on the left in the picture) not only gives Lisa feedback in the moment to let Lisa know if something is right or wrong, but she then usually puts down whatever she’s doing to help Lisa make something right. Christen was eavesdropping as we had this conversation, and she visibly appreciated hearing how she influences Lisa’s success.
Ken is riding his bike across the country but heading West toward Seattle. Having stayed at the same location as Ken last night, I got to learn about his wonderful job as a Director at John Lewis Partnership, a leading UK retail business. It is one of the largest employee-owned businesses with 70,000 people owning the company. Ken expressed his passion for this structure and the company. In his job he saw firsthand how the employee-owned structure gave people the opportunity to love their jobs because they were asked to make decisions and impact the success of the business with their own success.
I created The Moxie Ride for many reasons, namely: to fulfill a 20-year goal, to promote LifeMoxie, to do research for a new book, and to distribute my current books. My latest book, Moxie for Managers, officially went to the printers today! Books will be delivered to my mom’s house in St. Charles IL in 2 weeks when I ride into my hometown. (If you are in the area, email me and I’ll invite you to join us in person to get your own copy. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org).
And now for the secret behind my ability to grow a fabulous consulting business and get my next book published all while riding a bike for 6-8 hours every day: Cindy and Sue.
I could never take adventure leave (that’s like “maternity leave” but all about me) without Cindy and Sue, two key members of the LifeMoxie team who are an integral part of my success – on and off the bike. While I’m on the road, they have been serving our clients and future clients with TLC, managing our vendors, and simultaneously staying focused on all the details and the big picture. In particular, Cindy has become the liaison for all of our best clients, while Sue has become author’s assistant extraordinaire, shepherding my latest book through the publishing process. Every day we talk, email, and text (yes, sometimes while I’m riding!). And while I do work on different projects each day after riding, Cindy and Sue have allowed me to stay focused, to be intentional, to prioritize, and to be effective. (We are pictured here at a conference wearing superhero capes…. did I mention that they are troopers?)
If you want to take adventure leave (and you don’t want to wait for retirement), you need amazing partners like Cindy and Sue to be the glue behind the scenes.
- Brahma cows, a breed of Zebu cattle (pictured here – check out those floppy ears!)
- The big black butterfly that landed on my shoulder and rode with me for a few pedal strokes (I think it was literally stuck for a moment on my 50SPF-sprayed skin)
- A plethora of Baptist churches
- Correction re: “Missouri Longhorns” from yesterday’s blog– they are actually called “Highland Cattle” or “Kyloe” and they are a Scottish breed noted for being very hearty cattle (as you can see in the picture below). Thank you, Barber Bob, for your research!
Day 39 miles: 54.73 miles
Total mileage: 2,473.83 miles
Day 39 ascent: 4,610 ft of elevation
Day 39 descent: 4,209 ft of elevation
Total interviews: 67
Road kill count: 620 (including 3 possums – new to the list)
Let’s Have a Little Road Kill Competition: OK, really, I thought I might possibly see 500 dead things by the end of the ride, and now I’m thinking the road kill count might exceed 1,000 – what’s your guess on the final road kill count? I’ll send a new book to the person whose guess is closest to the final number. (Either send a comment using the box below or email me with your guess at email@example.com. To be fair, send me one guess only and send it by Mon. June 27 at midnight.)
Destination for Day 40: Houston, Missouri